Libya threatens to fire on North Korean tanker

Published March 10th, 2014 - 02:19 GMT
The Libyan government has faced some difficulties with oil exports since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. (AFP/File)
The Libyan government has faced some difficulties with oil exports since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. (AFP/File)

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan ordered the arrest of a North Korean tanker crew and threatened to bomb the tanker if it exports any oil from a rebel-controlled port, reports BBC.

Militants claim they began loading oil on to the tanker at a port east of Tripoli after it docked on Saturday. Rebels have seized three ports since August, an act which the Libyan government calls an “act of piracy.”

Officials question whether the ship is controlled by Pyongyang. A researcher at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute told the BBC: “It’s much more likely that it’s a flag of convenience. It’s really not a common flag – even in the Middle East.”

This is not the first time rebels have attempted to ship oil from a port. On Monday a Maltese-flagged ship tried to dock at a rebel port, only to be fired upon by the Libyan navy, according to BBC.

Libya’s government is currently dealing with numerous unruly armed groups and tribesmen, along with protests at oil fields and ports. Talks are currently taking place between the Libyan government and former militia leader Ibrahim Jathran.


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